SAN ANTONIO – The Jefferson Mustangs launched a strong running game and stout defense to defeat the Uvalde Coyotes 25-14 in Game 3 of the KSAT Pigskin Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Jefferson as a team rushed for 276 yards and three touchdowns in the game, gaining 216 of those yards in the first half, when they seized control of the game.
Mustang starting quarterback Amonte Carter was named the David Law Firm Player of the Game after running for 100 yards on 21 carries, with a rushing and passing touchdown.
A fourth-quarter comeback by the Coyotes was ultimately halted after a failed onside attempt try, due to an onsides penalty. A 22-yard touchdown run by Uvalde backup quarterback Jett Flores had cut the Mustangs’ lead to one possession.
Starting quarterback Brodie Carnes, a senior, left the game early and was replaced by sophomore Flores for the rest of the game.
Jefferson’s ball-control offense mythodically ran through the Coyotes defense on their opening possession, going for 60 yards in nine plays in about four minutes to take a 6-0 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Carter.
Uvalde’s offense in the first half was held to a total of 35 total yards on 17 plays in three drives, converting only one first down.
The Coyotes’ best scoring chance of the first half came after a fumble recovery with just under two minutes to go in the first quarter, but the offense went three and out.
Behind the legs of Carter and senior running back Daniel Araiza, who rushed 16 times for 80 yards and touchdown, the Mustangs took a commanding 18-0 lead at the half after failing on three extra point conversion tries.
Araiza’s final touchdown of the half came after some confusion however, as he scored from one-yard out with no time on the clock on fourth down. Time looked to have expired on third down, but Jefferson was awarded an extra down by officials after it was determined Uvalde called timeout.
The second half began with fireworks as Jefferson recovered the opening kickoff, but they failed to convert it into points with a missed field goal try.
Following multiple failed possessions by both teams thanks to strong defensive play, Uvalde finally got on the board with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Jett Flores to Quinton Gant to end the third quarter.
A failed fourth down attempt by Uvalde with 9:12 to go in the fourth quarter all but sealed the game and gave Jefferson great field position from the Coyotes’ 30 yard line.
The Mustangs missed the ongoing field goal try, but a personal foul on Uvalde gave Jefferson a new set of downs. A touchdown run by Austin Banda from one-yard out gave Jefferson a 25-7 lead with 4:32 left in the game.
The Coyotes, led by head coach Wade Miller, are coming off a 5-5 regular season that included a playoff berth out of a tough District 14-4A-1. The Coyotes had finished 2-8 the year before.
Uvalde played through an emotional season following the Robb Elementary School shooting, dedicating their games to the victims, families and local community.
Coach Miller said his team is excited for the opportunity to play in the KSAT Pigskin Classic and he expects their fans to be loud and proud.
“I think it’s awesome. This is such a great experience for my kids and they’re so fired up, they’re going to love it,” Miller said. “I think they’re excited to be recognized and excited to actually come play in the big time, not just in the Alamodome, but also on TV. That’s a huge deal.”
The Mustangs finished 3-6 last season in District 14-5A-2 and are looking for their first winning season since 2009. They could take that first step with a win against Uvalde.
“The KSAT Pigskin Classic. It’s an awesome feeling for the kids, the community and we’re excited,” Head Coach Edward Cardenas said. “You never know when you’re going to get invited to the Alamodome, so we’re just excited. Once you step into (the dome), the electricity just takes over.”
Jefferson: at home versus Lanier on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
Uvalde: on the road versus Winn (Eagle Pass) on Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
About the KSAT Pigskin Classic
The second-annual KSAT Pigskin Classic kicked off Aug. 25 and 26 at San Antonio’s Alamodome and tickets are now on sale.
This year’s KSAT Pigskin Classic is even bigger than last year’s inaugural event, with four high school football games to kick off the Texas high school football season.